Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Breaking Strongholds

I am starting Breaking Free by Beth Moore today. I don't think it is a coincidence I am doing this study for such a time as this. I started the study 2 years ago and stopped about 4 weeks in (schedule conflicts with meetings), and regrettably never finished it. But, in hindsight, I think God was waiting until NOW for me to do this study.

On the way to church, my brain was telling me over and over again how much of a failure as a mom I am. I just read a FB post of a dear friend whose adopted son called her his angel. I rejoiced for her, but inside my heart shattered into a million pieces. Why can't my adopted son feel that way about me? Why am I still struggling with the SAME issues 2 and half years in to this adoption journey?

George sucks the life out of me. If I am not disciplining him, I am doing homework with him. If I am not doing homework with him, he is causing problems in another room and I have to go settle things. If, by some miracle, he is in a good mood, he is clinging to my leg, rubbing my arm, holding my hand and talking incessantly to me. Either way, it's all about George. All the time. He takes and takes and takes...and my other children are starting to really resent us both. Spending two hours on homework with George means the little ones don't get read to and the older ones have to figure out their work on their own. Constantly talking to George - because he demands to be constantly talked to - means I don't have time or energy to talk to the others.

Just last night, we were on the driveway drawing with colored chalk. All the kids are drawing and all the kids want to show me their creations. But George DEMANDS it by calling my name 17 times....loudly....even if I am in a conversation with someone else. I am trying to talk to my neighbor and he is screaming "Momma!" literally 17 times until I look over at his drawing.

And what does George give in return?


All of the other 5 kids take. But they also GIVE. They give genuine smiles and they truly care how my day was. They sit with me and listen and laugh and share. They hug me goodnight and tell me how much they love me.

Now, I know parenting is NOT about what our children give us..but come on .. can I be honest and say that any relationship is about give and take? When one person is just taking....the relationship suffers.

So.. the devil has been telling me for a while now that I suck as a mom. I haven't been able to reach George - so I must be a loser. I am not giving my other children what they deserve - so I am totally incapable. Other moms can do it all. Other moms can adopt and their lives are rainbows and cupcakes.

My life is chaos...loud fighting before school, losing kids in the new neighborhood, a giant dog tearing after the innocent family walking by....pure chaos.

So, I drive to Bible study fighting back the tears but convinced that I have been just horrible as a mom!

I get there...NO ONE even smiles or says hello. I try to register (a computer kiosk) and that doesn't work...but there is NO ONE to offer help. Defeated, I sat outside the large group room. I debated leaving. At one point, I even walked down the stairwell to reach the parking lot. But something pulled me back.

If you have ever done a Beth Moore study, you know there is a video component of her teaching. I sucked it up, slinked into the room and took a set in the back row.

And then God spoke to me.

Through Beth Moore.

"A stronghold is when you are mentally preoccupied by something."

Failure as mom. Should have never adopted. Settling for unhappiness for the next 15 years.

These are the preoccupations of my mind lately. Probably for the past 2 years!

I didn't think there was a stronghold in my life. Typically, my "strongholds" have been pride, selfishness, etc. So, when I thought about doing this study, I checked my little box that said, "My name is Traci and I struggle with pride." But, maybe God has really worked on that in my life - for I am surely not the same woman I was years ago who thought she knew it all. No, my stronghold was my belief that I am FAILING.

I AM in bondage. Bondage is anything that hinders me from the ABUNDANT and EFFECTIVE spirit filled life from God.

John 15:8 says, "This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples."


God does not want me to live in bondage to my belief in my failing. His glory is that I bear much fruit...that I love my children so abundantly that THEY reflect that love. I want the world to see that I am HIS DISCIPLE. And through being His disciple, there is much fruit.

This is not going to be an easy time for me. I feel that I have finally come to the breaking point with my relationship with George. I need to trust that God has this all figured out...and there are certain characteristics, though patterns, parenting styles that need to be broken in order for God to work.

I hate feeling like a failure...and I know God does not condemn with labels like that. But, I know I need to start breaking some strongholds.

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